Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Little of this, little of that

Alright, here are a bunch of random tidbits for you:

- There have been FOUR people who have seemed overly perfumed/cologned today. I'm very sensitive to smells, but there usually aren't a lot of smelly people at work. Today's an exception. Ick.
- This is our FIFTH day in a row of beautiful weather. YAY!
- There was a guy in the elevator today who had a salad topped with tofu and cheddar Goldfish crackers. Interesting combo.
- The pollen is killing me. I can barely see because my eyes are so watery / itchy. I don't remember the last time I had to regularly take allergy medicine, but I have been taking Claritin every day for about a week.
- I'm taking a golf class! I'm very excited, I just signed up for it and it's one hour a week for 5 weeks, beginning tonight!
- Geoff and I are coaching softball again. I don't think I mentioned that before. We had our third practice last night. So fun... that age group is really cute. We have two returning players from last year, and everyone on our team seems to be able to hit really well! We have a bunch of girls who played t-ball previously, whereas last year we had mostly newbies. The parents seem to know more about softball too, which is helpful from an assistant coaching standpoint.
- I'm planning to go to the Portland Farmer's Market this weekend. I've always heard great things but have never been, so I'm looking forward to going.

Here is the story about my lifetime of allergies. I just feel like this should be documented. You don't have to read it, but I'm writing it anyway!

When I was 3, I was somehow "diagnosed" with having allergies. I don't really know what led up to it or what led my mom to get me tested, but I know I was 3. We had a dog then, his name was Dusty. I was allergic to Dusty so he had to go away. He went to my dad's cousin Dick's house, where he was later run over by a bulldozer and killed. Or something - I dunno... my dad makes things up. Seems like I've also heard a story that he ran into a street and hit by a car. That was probably my mom's version (aka what REALLY happened).

Anyway, starting when I was 3 I had to go to the allergist's office once a week for shots. All I remember about that allergist's office is that when you were done, you got a little token to put into a gumball machine and you got a little ring or bouncy ball or something. As a 3 year old, I'm sure that was the highlight of my week!

When I was 5 we moved to Chicago. My allergists there were Dr. Dold and Dr. Hart. They were on the 4th floor of a 4 floor building that had black and white stripes in Arlington Heights, Illinois. My favorite nurses were named Karen and Laura. I remember that whole thing very clearly because I went once a week until I was about 13. I got between 2 and 4 shots a week. The nurses gave them to me, and then I had to wait 30 minutes for them to measure the reaction and make sure I was okay. During the 30 minutes I had to be seen by one of the allergists, just a quick 5 minute check in. That might not have been every time, maybe once a month or something. Then they'd measure me with this clear plastic ruler to see how big the reaction to the shots were - if it was smaller they could up the dose for the next week to start building up immunities. I was/am allergic to dogs, cats, rabbits, pollen, mold, etc. "Environmental" allergies, if you will. I also had to take Seldane and Sudafed - one Seldane (a big white round pill) and 2 Sudafed a day. Wow - just looked up the wiki on Seldane and it was removed from the US market in 1997 for potential to cause fetal heart conditions. AWESOME!!! :) Actually if I remember correctly, at some point I started to take Allegra and I believe the doctor told me that Allegra does the same thing as Seldane, but it comes in the form that your body had to metabolize Seldane into and was therefore safer. Something along those lines. HEY. I just looked up the wiki on that and it confirms what I just said!!!!! From the wiki - "The older antihistaminic agent terfenadine was found to metabolize into the related carboxylic acid, fexofenadine." (Terfenadine = Seldane, Fexofenadine = Allegra). INTERESTING. There was also a green and red capsule pill that I took for some period of time that started with an E, but I can't remember the name of it. I did NOT have to take the Sudafed when I took that... I think that they would switch me between the Seldane & Sudafed combo and the "E" drug (no it wasn't Ecstasy, get your minds out of the gutter) as I would develop tolerances for one or the other. I'm not sure, I'll have to see if my mom remembers anything about the E. ;-)

Okay. I'm back. Sorry for that offshoot into the history of allergy medications.

So somewhere along the line, when I started junior high I started seeing the allergist less and less often. I think it was a combination of being more busy and just not needing to go as much. But I really do think that having all of those shots all of those years (by my calculations, an average of 3 shots a week, 50 weeks a year for 10 years is 1500 shots!!) really helped. Because I was so young when I started, they helped me build up tolerances/immunities (okay, I'm not sure of the actual correct medical word there) that still help me today. I consider my allergies to be very mild now. Not to cats - cats are horrible for me. The worst allergic reaction Geoff has ever seen me have was to cats (although the worst I've actually ever had was to raw shrimp in Destin, Florida, circa March 1989). But I can handle dogs reasonably well, and I'm pretty okay outside. I still like to go outside and weed / do other yardwork BEFORE Geoff cuts the grass because fresh cut grass make my eyes itchy (he's the grass cutter instead of me for that same reason), but all in all I'm okay.

Until last week. UGH!! I have been taking Claritin daily for the last week. I always have it on hand in case I'm going to someone's house that has a dog, but rarely take it. The last time I took daily allergy medicine was at least 12 years ago. It's weird, I don't know what's going on in Oregon right now but my allergies no likely!

And that is the story of my allergies. I'm sure this won't be interesting for anyone other than me and my mom (my partner in crime at the allergist for 10 years), but it was fun for me to remember it all! And apparently share my medical history with the entire world. Wait for the day I tell you all about my Crohn's history......... :) Hey, my entire blog could be dedicated to Crohn's like this guy's! (I have to admit, I am a regular reader of his blog!)

3 comments:

oma said...

So many of my friends are complaining about allergies this year. It must be an especially bad year for anyone even the least bit susceptible to allergies

Christine R said...

Eww I had to go with you to the allergists and I hated it. They even tested me with all these prickly things and it hurt and I didn't even have any allergies. Puff. But now I have my hypothyroid and all these other problems.

Patrick said...

my doctor was in the black and white striped building too, it reminded me of venture. but its no longer black and white striped. every other 'black' stripe was actually windows. now i think its beige and less stripey looking.